The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Thu., Mar. 9. 2023 3:17pm EST
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our fifth single of 2023:
Remember when Elijah battled the prophets of Baal and called fire down from heaven in 1 Kings 18? Remember how he called for a drought in 1 Kings 17 that lasted three years and then he accurately predicted a heavy rain in 1 Kings 18? Well, if we remember all that, why does it seem like Elijah forgot?
Despite those miracles, he still ran away from Jezebel when she vowed to kill him in 1 Kings 19. Then again, how many times do I see God answer my prayers dramatically, yet find myself stressing about something else soon after? And I suppose many of us have felt at some point that we were the only ones left who were still trying to follow the LORD.
I started my first version of this parody in '92 or '93, and it was finished by the mid-'90s. The title remains, but I rewrote every single line of the lyrics in 2023. "Fire and Rain" seemed Taylor-made for Elijah, since he did shower the people with both. He even called fire down from heaven two more times in 2 Kings 1.
We now have songs for three chapters in a row written from Elijah's perspective: "Last Rain the Clouds Spill" (1 Kings 17) and "I've Got Elijah Fightin' Baal (1 Kings 18) are the others.
Tom Milnes played guitars on this one. His wife, Barb, is a James Taylor fan. It's not every day you've got a friend in the band whose spouse likes the artist you're covering. Rich Mannion took care of all other instrumentation; he's a handy man to have around. I wish I could've seen your smiling face as your read those puns.
The original version of the song we spoofed here was called "Susie-Q" and was recorded by Dale Hawkins in 1957. It went to #27 on the pop chart. Creedence Clearwater Revival redid it as "Suzie Q." in 1968, and it became their first hit single, just missing the Top 10 (#11).
We released our parody, "E.Z.Kiel," in 1994, but it really needed redone, too! I got tired of turning down Jerry Hutchinson at Angel 95 FM whenever he'd suggest playing our '94 version on the weekly ApologetiX with an X radio show, so I finally did something about it.
CCR's version of "Suzie Q." has an eerie, otherworldly feel to it, and that was perfect for this song about the prophet Ezekiel's initial vision by the Chebar/Kebar River, as recounted in the first chapter of the book that bears his name.
Speaking of spooky, some of our older fans may remember the old '60s sci-fi television show The Outer Limits and its famous intro: "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission." In a similar vein, let me say, "There is nothing wrong with your stereo. Do not attempt to adjust the balance. We are replicating Creedence Clearwater Revival."
What do I mean by that? Well, CCR gradually panned the drums in the intro of "Suzie Q." from the left speaker to the right, while moving the vocals from the right speaker in the first verse to the left speaker in the second verse and back to the right in the third verse. So that's what we did, too.